I feel like this year has just been a process of putting one foot in front of the other … just keep moving. Parenting a 13 year old has been one of the easier parts, although I’ve had frustrations with trying to make sure he’s turning in school assignments (not something I’ve ever had to worry about before with him). I’ve also worried about his computer gaming time, which has skyrocketed, but also is his primary source of interaction with other kids his age. And I’ve worried about what he’s missing out on … a little bit about middle school (although does anyone really love their time in middle school??!), but more about some of the travel we had planned.
The benefits: spending more time together. And not worrying about school shootings. He was in kindergarten when the Newtown massacre happened, and every day I’ve sent him off to school since then, I’ve worried. I know it was probably an oversized concern, but honestly I basically felt like I was holding my breath every day he was at school.
One thing I’ve been pondering as we start to enter the new “normal” (post Covid) is about having to learn to let go again. A natural part of parenting is learning to let go of your child as they gain maturity and confidence … letting go of their hands, letting them go to school on their own, letting them go see friends or go to the corner store, etc. And it’s one of the scariest parts of parenting, I think. The pandemic has had the effect of turning back the clock on some of the letting go. My son has been down the hall from me (or in the same building) pretty much every day for the past year, except when I leave for errands, or when he walks the dog, etc. When the time comes for him to go back to school, and branch out again, I’m not sure if it will be easier or harder for me to let go again.